New York Red Bulls will have to produce a fine performance next week if they are to win the Eastern Conference Championship finals after losing the first leg against New England Revolution 2-1. For long periods of the match, it looked like Bradley Wright-Phillips’ equaliser in the 27th minute would be enough to take the match level into the second leg. Bunbury had given New England the lead 10 minutes prior to Bradley’s goal. However, a late goal from Jermaine Jones meant that New York have to produce a fine performance away from home if they are to come back into the tie.
More importantly, the club will have to do without the services of Bradley. The striker, who has been prolific this season, will miss the match due to suspension. He picked up a yellow card in the 60th minute and it was the second of postseason. This results in an automatic suspension. After the match, Bradley said that he was not aware of this fact and that he is extremely angry that he will be unable to help his team get back into the tie. Midfielder Tim Cahill accepted that this was a disappointing way to lose one of the important members of the team, but he is confident that the players on the pitch will be able to do the job.
“I didn’t know the rules of the yellow card accumulation. I’m angry, obviously. I’m angry. Stupid yellow card and now I have to pay,” said the striker. “We’ve just got to believe. Bradley’s been the heart and soul of this team all season. It’s going to be tough [to replace him], but this tie is far [from] over,” said former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill about the suspension. Goalkeeper Luis Robles also expressed his belief that the team will be able to do well without Bradley.